The outrageous and illegal actions of the Palestinian Authority paying the families of convicted terrorists has taken a new turn.
Both Israel and the United States have told the PA that paying terrorists is a form of illegal and dangerous incitement. Nonplussed, PA President Mahmoud Abbas stated before the UN General Assembly that “I salute our glorious martyrs and our courageous prisoners in Israeli jails,” and that he would continue to pay “salaries” to those martyrs, even if he had only “one penny left.”
The US Congress was outraged by Abbas’s statements and actions and passed the Taylor Force Act which demanded the PA “stop payments for acts of terrorism.” Former President Trump cut funding to the PA and to the United Nations Palestinian funding conduit, UNRWA, to stop the provocation payments but President Biden has been looking for a way to turn on the money spigot to the PA even as his hands are tied by the Taylor Force Act.
So Abbas has been looking for a work-around.
In April, the PA announced that it would make payments to 12,000 “martyrs” through the Palestinian Postal System, which is not technically a bank and can therefore circumvent the US and Israeli laws. Additionally, PA’s Chairman of the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr stated that around 7,500 former prisoners would join various departments of the Authority and would thereby qualify for regular salaries like all government employees, whether they show up for work or not.
That work-around did not satisfy all martyrs.
According to Palestinian Media Watch which tracked Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a UK Arab news website on April 6, 2021, one former prisoner, Arafat Barghouti, said “The prisoners, their relatives, and the released prisoners received the message that they are going to make them social cases, and this is as a result of the wait at the gates of the post office and the feeling of humiliation and degradation after years of struggling against and defying the occupation.
“Currently the prisoners are standing and pleading to receive salaries that will support them. The sentence I heard the most today from the released prisoners is that we are standing like beggars to receive these salaries. It is not fitting for the prisoners and their struggle that we stand like this in front of the post office.”
Pro-Palestinian politicians and the progressive press often stress the importance of Palestinian “dignity.” This is surely going to be their new cause: addressing the affront that Palestinian terrorists are now forced to stand in line at the post office to receive their killers’ compensation.
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